From Hurricane Katrina to the tsunami in South-East Asia to the 2008 earthquakes in China, the world has seen an increasing number of natural disasters affecting human populations in recent years. The 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on 12 January 2010 created unprecedented challenges for the international community and aid agencies typically involved in responding to such emergencies. The quake killed approximately 220,000 people, destroyed the homes of 1.9 million and affected a total of 3 million.
In September 2007, the European Union announced a Global Climate Change Alliance to help poor countries prepare for natural disasters and 'climate proof' development and poverty reduction strategies, including through the use of systematic climate risk assessment tools. However, even with the growth in costs and opportunities associated with disasters, the private sector has remained engaged in resilience through specific projects rather than comprehensive, industry or cross industry-wide initiatives.